Director Biography – Todd Lillethun (THE QUIT)

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Todd works as a freelance filmmaker in Chicago, and as Assistant Director of External Programs, Internships, and Career Services for Northwestern University’s film program. His previous film SAFE WORD played over 40 film festivals in 8 countries. He is the former Program Director of Chicago Filmmakers, where he served the local independent filmmaking community for nearly four years. His documentary short NIGHT BUS played in several regional film festivals, including the Landlocked Film Festival (2009), Heartland Film Festival (2009), Peace on Earth Film Festival (2010). He was post-production assistant on THE WAR TAPES for SenArt and Kartemquin Films, which won the Best Documentary Prize at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2006. He earned a BA in Film/Video at Columbia College Chicago, and BS in Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

Director Biography – Samuel Douek (JUS+ LIKE ME)

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Samuel Douek, Director of ‘Jus+ Like Me’ is a trained architect turned director working across documentary, music video and narrative film. His subjects confront issues surrounding LGBTQ+ and minority subcultures from a design perspective. In addition to filmmaking Douek founded the CAMPerVAN, a transportable queer performance and community space that has toured the UK and Europe bringing LGBTQ+ performance art into the public sphere.

Director Statement

The widespread dissemination of HIV prevention medication has seen a drastic fall in the number of new diagnoses in recent years.

However, despite growing awareness and acceptance of the virus, many people living HIV continue to experience fear and stigma from wider society.

JUS+ Like Me was made in Honour of World Aids day as both a celebration of the advancements in medication and a reminder of the virus that continues to affect huge parts of the world.

But most importantly, JUS+ Like Me was made to show how people like Phil live happy, healthy and normal lives.

Director Biography – Julia Angley (NOW I KNOW)

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Julia Keelan Angley is a writer, director, producer and editor. She loves dark comedies, coming-of-age dramas, and stories about strong women. She is passionate about creating all kinds of women-centric media.

Originally from Marshfield, Massachusetts, Julia has always been interested in storytelling. She studied creative writing at Johns Hopkins University, where she started writing her first scripts. After college, Julia worked as a business analyst while earning a Masters in Digital Media from Harvard’s Extension School. At Harvard, she developed a love for creative problem solving and video production. In 2016, Julia moved to Los Angeles to study filmmaking at UCLA.

Since then, she has been working on a variety of projects, including producing the feature film “The Way You Look Tonight,” premiering in 2019. She has also directed a number of short films.

Director Statement

“Now I Know” is a short coming-of-age film about two young women navigating their friendship and each grappling with their sexuality. With the film, I wanted to explore how we unintentionally trap each other with our assumptions and all the things that go unsaid in a close friendship.

This film was produced during my time as a student at UCLA, and is a very personal story to me. Growing up, as I began to question my own sexuality, I found it difficult to express. As a bisexual woman, I wanted to create a film that showed young women questioning and struggling, an experience that many LGBTQ people experience even as the world becomes more accepting. At the end of the day, we have to accept ourselves, and that can sometimes be the hardest step in coming out.

This film marks my festival debut. I am excited for the opportunity to share this small story about two women finding their identities.

Director Biography – Richard E. Haywood (BOXING DAY)

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I grew up loving going to the movies. I liked the escape and learning about other places. My favorite genre is drama. I feel the power of films can change people and open minds.

Director Statement

I like my films to be about relationships, whether they are family, lovers or friends.

Director Biography – Tom Goss (RESHAPING BEAUTY)

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Tom Goss is an indie director, singer and songwriter who uses film to tell stories most people are afraid to tell. His distinct voice shaped by his identity as a gay man and his unusual history. A college wrestler turned Catholic seminarian turned award-winning musician.

As a musician, Tom’s songs have been heard on ABC, HBO, in several films, and his inventive music videos (Son of a Preacher Man, Breath and Sound, Bears, Click), which have been viewed more than 10-million times. Tom has shared a stage with performers as diverse as Andy Grammer, Martha Wash, Taylor Dane, Steve Grand, Adrianne Gonzalez, Matt Alber, and Catie Curtis, and he enjoys a particularly strong following in the LGBT community.

A native of Kenosha, Wisconsin, Tom went to college in Missouri on a wrestling scholarship with plans to become a schoolteacher. A year of student teaching in Illinois changed his mind, but he still wanted to make a difference in the world — so he decided to become a Catholic priest and moved to Washington DC to enter seminary. Disillusioned by his experiences there, and with a growing awareness that he was gay, Tom found himself in filmmaking, songwriting and performing.

Currently based in Los Angeles, Tom will be touring the US in Fall 2019 with a brand new multimedia show that incorporates guitar, keyboard, storytelling, and video.

Director Biography – Cydney Cox (OLD FLAMES)

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Cydney is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington; a Texas-raised filmmaker originally from San Antonio. She developed a passion for creative storytelling while attending the North East School of the Arts. After graduating from Southern Methodist University with a BA in Film and Media Arts in 2014, she worked as the Program Coordinator for the USA Film Festival. She currently serves as the Programs Chair for Women in Film Dallas for the second year in a row following the rewarding experience of being the Shorts Programmer for the 2016 Chick Flicks Festival. While she was a graduate teaching assistant at UTA she completed her thesis project, a pilot entitled “Group,” a dark comedy about a group therapy which has since won awards at the Austin Revolution Film Festival. She works in the DFW film community as an Assistant Director, Producer, and Script Supervisor while expanding her body of work that focuses on stories that explore the human condition and the expressions of trauma, adversity, and mental illness.

Director Statement

We are proud to present a story about Queer Love. With women comprising more than 60% of all production roles including directing & producing and a cast/crew as ethnically and gender-diverse as all the types of love stories that exist out in the world, we are sure you’ll fall head over heels in love with “Old Flames” too.

We aimed to take a classic genre of story-telling, romantic-comedy, and re-envision it in a more modern format. By placing a Queer man of color at the center of this story, we gave ourselves the liberty to reconstruct just exactly what “rom-coms” are about and remind ourselves that love and the way it affects us, is always a universal experience.